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A business sign is more than an expense. It's a marketing tool. As far as signage goes, most businesses don't give their business sign enough thought. It's common for business owners to hire a marketing company to take care of it, or to give the project to a low-paid staff member in HR or their in-house marketing department. The truth is, your business sign is the face of your brand, and you need to treat it as a valuable piece of marketing.

Signs As a Marketing Tool

Business cards and newspaper inserts often take center-stage as far as marketing is concerned, but business signs are also a form of marketing. You can include your name, sure, but you can also tie in your most important value-proposition, your tag line, or even advertise the "feel" of your company through a sign.

Get The Color Right

Business colors are very important. In a way, the colors you use in your business sign will tell people most of what they need to know about your company - intuitively. How? Simple:

  • Blue: It's the color that puts people at ease. You see this color used by hospitals and financial firms all of the time. It's the color of royalty, sophistication, mystery, and spirituality. It's a great color for your company's sign if you're in the energy sector, finance, airline or related industries, health care, or agricultural industry.
  • Green: Green is a calming color. It's often used when businesses want to look "fresh" or "new." There's a wide variation between the shades you can use, though. Darker green is associated with affluence - and is best used by those in the finance industry. Lighter green is more for environmental-based businesses. In general, it's great for the restaurant industry, financial services, those in the energy industry, good for consumer or household products-based companies, and tech companies.
  • Red: Red is a very exciting color. Really. It evokes a passionate response in people. It will increase your heart rate and your wallet size - it's often used for sale items and "buy now" buttons online. Red is best for restaurants, technology companies, automobile companies (including mechanic's shops), and those in agriculture.
  • Yellow: Use yellow when you want to give your clients the impression of warmth. Yellow, in a business sign, looks very clean and fresh. It will show customers your positive side. It's best if you're in the finance, tech, restaurant, or housing/real estate industries.
  • Black or Gray: This is a sleek color. It's used primarily to demonstrate that you sell high-end merchandise. If you sell expensive clothing, work in the automobile industry, or tech industry, or you sell something luxurious like jewelry, your sign should incorporate black or gray somewhere.
  • White: White is a clean color. It represents a sense of purity. It's a good color if you're in retail (i.e. clothing industry), or health care. It can also be good if you're in the financial industry or even the restaurant business.

Your Brand's Image

A business sign showcases your brand's image. Are you weak? Strong? Your sign will tell that story. For example, a sign made of thin, low-grade, plastic will tell consumers you're a cheap company - that you don't care about quality or you don't sell high-quality items. A polished metal sign, however, evokes a different emotion - one of sturdiness and stability. Etched glass is elegant. High-quality wooden signs are warm and inviting.

Make a Good First Impression

Your business sign is the first thing people see. You've probably heard the cliche "you only get one chance to make a good first impression." It's true. When people see your sign for the first time, it sets the tone for your entire business relationship (or lack thereof). Get the best sign you can afford, and put your best foot forward.

Robert M. Smyth is an interior designer. He frequently gives his tips for small business design on entrepreneur and interior decor blogs. Learn more about sign design, visit the link.

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